Happy Black History Month to you all, from the PSAC BC Racially Visible Caucus!
February is the month to celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians and their communities who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate, and prosperous nation it is today. Please let’s take that opportunity to learn and educate ourselves with one story at a time.
Let’s meet Mary Bibb – co-editor of “Voice of the Fugitive”
Mary Bibb is recognized as Canada’s first black female journalist for the work she did alongside her husband Henry Bibb on the “Voice of the Fugitive”, the first anti-slavery newspaper published in Canada by people of African descent. The daughter of free black Quaker parents, she was born in Rhode Island around 1820.
Facing discrimination in the public school system, Mary and her husband established their own schools to improve the education of Black children and adults. These achievements and their involvement in the organization of the North American Convention of Colored Freemen in 1851 made the Bibbs one of the most influential couples of African descent in the 1800s in Ontario.
After her husband’s death, Mary moved to Brooklyn, New York where she died in 1877.
In November 2002, Mary and Henry Bibb were designated as National Historic Persons by Parks Canada Agency.